Estrela Mountain Dogs
Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years
Temperament: Suspicious, Stubborn, Dignified, Keen, Alert, Protective
Weight: Male: 88–110 lbs (40–50 kg), Female: 66–88 lbs (30–40 kg)
Height: Male: 26–29 inches (65–72 cm), Female: 24–27 inches (62–69 cm)
Colors: Fawn, Brindle, Grey, Yellow
"Estrela Mountain Dogs are made for children". It was that sentence that won us over. In 2016 we imported our first Estrela Mountain Dog, Revel and we fell instantly in love. She is smart, loyal, wonderfully stubborn, and not only a wonderful guard for our goats and chickens but also a wonderful guard for our home and family. These dogs are a versatile breed. Feto, the stud of our very first litter, lives in Canada with his human Chris and he is a fantastic guard and protector of Chris and their home. They are aloof to strangers yet cautious. Not once has Revel growled or became aggressive to our guests that frequent our property often. But she makes her presence heard and will guard her home until she knows you and accepts you as a friend.
Estrelas are the oldest breed native to the Iberian Peninsula, that it has likely been present in its homeland since at least the end of the Roman Empire, and that it has always been found primarily in the Estrela Mountains of central Portugal. Due to the timing there are no known written records of the breed. At some point in history the Estrela Mountain Dog almost became extinct. Breed standard were written in the 1920's and breeding conservation programs began in the 1950's to keep the breed alive and thriving. It is believed that the breed was first brought into the United States somewhere around 1996-1998, so a relatively new breed to the US. Most people have never heard of this magnificent breed.
"The Estrela Mountain Dog was very likely saved by the Portuguese Revolution of 1974, which brought down one of the last remaining totalitarian regimes in Western Europe."
Our foundation bitch Revel, Revolução was named in honor of the Portuguese Revolution of 1974. We find this very appropriate because she is the first to bring the Estrela Mountain Dog to the Western part of the United States.
This is a wonderful write up of the Estrela Mountain Dog, I encourage you to read more here, http://www.easypetmd.com/doginfo/estrela-mountain-dog
Proper Care & Training
Estrelas are either long or short coat. Both are soft and fluffy. They are both able to withstand summer and winter conditions. I often get asked if one is better in Colorado Mountain weather and I say no, they both are fantastic! Similar to a goat's coat. They adapt to the weather. Estrelas hair, even the long coat, doesn't tangle except for spots behind the ear. Their coats should be smooth and shiny. It is recommended to brush them at least weekly so they are free of debris (because they love to be in the mud, dirt, and around your property guarding!). Nails do need to be trimmed, including their dew claws! It is NOT recommended to shave your Estrela as this could lead to health issues.
Estrela's are an athletic build. They are not meant to be oveweight or obese. They should have a slender athletic build. What you feed your dog is very important. A raw diet is always the best. We work closely with our puppy families to help them with raw feeding if this is the way they choose. Otherwise we have partnered up with Life's Abundance to provide the best available dry dog food on the market. You can read more under the Nutrition Tab.
Whether your Estrela will be a farm/livetock guardian dog or a well loved family guardian; your dog needs proper training. We start each puppy off following the Puppy Culture protocol. If you aren't familiar with how amazing Puppy Culture is you can read more about it here: Puppy Culture.
A puppies critical phase is until 12 weeks of age. So it is vital that new Estrela owners take very important care to follow our training protocol the first 2 weeks they bring their puppy home. Beyond that it is important to slowly acclimate your dog to your livestock, property, and family members. These dogs need socialization. But careful socialization. I, personally am not a fan of dog park socialization because you never know if there is a loose canon there just ready to attack and scar your Estrela due to a fearful situation.
Estrelas aim to please their owners/shepherds so making them part of the family is vital. If you keep your dogs with your livestock, be sure to bring your Estrela in once in awhile so he/she can continue that important bond with his/her humans. The best guardian dog is a dog that is loved and cherished as part of the human family. That dog will forever guard you and all you love; including your livestock!
Fraga. The first bitch to set the first breed standard.
Thank you Penhas Douradas Kennel & Manuela at Ponta da Pinta for these amazing photos!
Q: Where can I find other breeders around the world of the Estrela Mountain Dog?:
A: You can find a list of ethical breeders here: www.caodaserradaestrela.net/home
Q: Will you be breeding anymore?
A: At this time, we do not have any future breedings planned.
Q: I would like to apply, can I get an application?
A: Click the PDF to download and email to MLSearle@protonmail.com
Have a question for us? Please leave it below so we can add all questions to our Q & A!